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Written by Kyle Neary
Gerda’s hope is exemplified in her ability to not only imagine a future in which her previous sense of happiness and family is restored, but to transfer that to others. Even though her hope withers when she is forced to face the loss of her brother, mother, father, and almost herself, she repeatedly comes back to the promise she made to her father soon after the Nazis invaded Bielitz, when she contemplated suicide, the promise she made to her family when they were ripped away from her, the promise to keep hopeful, to survive. Repeatedly the other girls with whom she is imprisoned question how she can remain so hopeful when faced with such despair. Gerda simply believes that hope is the only choice because it is the only means by which she can survive in such a dark world. Gerda instills such an attitude by both telling the other girls that they will survive and by trying to simulate normalcy in small ways, such as putting on a play while in Sosnowitz.
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They learn that the war is just beginning. The Germans have invaded Russia, and the former Russian-controlled parts of Poland, including Lwow, have been taken by Germany. Gerda worries for her family and especially Arthur.